An MMO where everyone is a shapeshifter?

sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAMember UncommonPosts: 1,693
So, in one thread we've got discussion about non-human avatars, in another thread we've got discussion about the benefit of flexible classes allowing people to play more complex and interesting roles, and in one of the game subforums I just saw someone asking about a class where they could regularly switch between two roles.  So I got to thinking about different classes that can use shapeshifts in various ways - druids, shamans, hunters, and two beastfolk classes in Perfect world, one of which is a tank and the other of which is a pet-user mage.  Then there are other games where a human avatar can temporarily meld with a pet to take a hybrid form.

Back when I played WoW my main was a druid, I was always disappointed that there was no way to use animal forms to interact with NPCs, do quests, or get into otherwise inaccessible treasure caves.  Of course this was because an MMO can't afford to develop much content that only one class can access.  But!  What if all avatars could shapeshift, and so all players had access to animal forms for special travel modes, stealth, disguise, puzzles, and other NPC/quest situations?  Each major animal form could like a class in terms of having a different combat style, but you wouldn't have to pick one when creating your character.  They would level up separately according to whether you spent time playing with them.  If you only wanted to play one role you could level that one up fairly quickly.  If you got bored of high-level content, you could revisit a low-level area to do the animal-specific quests you didn't do last time because you weren't specializing in that animal form.  You would have no pressure to create an alt if, like me, you dislike alts.  You wouldn't have to use up guild spaces with those alts, and you wouldn't have to log off to switch to your tank or healer or whatever the guild was short on for the current dungeon.  Doesn't this sound like fun?  B)
I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
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Comments

  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Cambridge, MAMember UncommonPosts: 1,032
    edited November 14
    I think it is a good idea, but it would just be another feature that would have an opportunity cost for something else. I still think a mega company or conglomerate of companies could make a huge game with all features .

    Cryomatrix
    Post edited by Cryomatrix on
    susiegib
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember EpicPosts: 13,108
    No and here is why....

    The concept without any thought sounds good but in practice would end up being nothing more than one player has ALL skills,all classes,all abilities  and on the fly,that really cheapens a game badly.

    I want ROLES,sure no problem you can learn over time all roles but should never be on the fly,you should have to go home and equip a new setup/role.

    My fave mmorpg of all time already allowed players to learn everything on one player but only use what their current roles allowed.I spent many an hour thinking of a way to make it even better but i couldn't ,imo it was/is the perfect design for a character structure ever made for gaming.

    A developer can most certainly make a whack load of content ,it is done via those sub fees,put that monmey and the employees to good use,keep our games evolving with content.
    Problem is that devs want it all,they want to grind millions out of gamer's then have the gall to ask for more money for an expansion or DLC or if very lame,a hero.

    Back on the roles/classes idea,i want each to have distinct differences,example you want fast travel,well a mage could warp/teleport you around or Airships etc etc.You want to open up  quest line but need a certain role,well spend the time to raise a White mage or Redmage ,whatever it takes,players shouldn't be handed everything up front with no effort.
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  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 5,964
    I think WoW did a very good job with Druid. Not to many games you can become the pet in order to tank, dps, stealth, swim, fly, and not on a timer.  
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    "Change is the only constant."

  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAMember UncommonPosts: 1,693
    Wizardry said:
    No and here is why....

    The concept without any thought sounds good but in practice would end up being nothing more than one player has ALL skills,all classes,all abilities  and on the fly,that really cheapens a game badly.

    I want ROLES,sure no problem you can learn over time all roles but should never be on the fly,you should have to go home and equip a new setup/role.

    My fave mmorpg of all time already allowed players to learn everything on one player but only use what their current roles allowed.
    But I was actually saying, your currently available abilities would be determined both by the animal form you are currently in, and also by whether you've put in the time to level up that specific animal form. So yeah you can switch from lvl 40 healer to lvl 40 tank on the fly but only in the rare circumstance that you have already spent the time leveling both forms up (which is time spent learning that form's role) and you probably would need to get a set of gear for each role too.

    Back on the roles/classes idea,i want each to have distinct differences,example you want fast travel,well a mage could warp/teleport you around or Airships etc etc.You want to open up  quest line but need a certain role,well spend the time to raise a White mage or Redmage ,whatever it takes,players shouldn't be handed everything up front with no effort.

    Perhaps, though, instead of the tired fantasy array of classes like mage, instead we could see what kind of culture would logically evolve in a species of intelligent beings that constantly use animal forms like tools and costumes. Maybe they could have something more interesting instead of mages and airships.
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • anemoanemo Member UncommonPosts: 1,223
    edited November 15
    Well there is one Genre of game that "Plays The Same" even though thematically it's completely different,  that being the mech game.

    A dev that wants to make something that plays like a mech game where putting on a new skin grants different ways to play and to further customize your "pilot".   Is going to have to choose between a genre that has a built in fanatical community (and a bit under served) , and one that doesn't...  Probably goes with the one that has the community.

    In my opinion the cool part of being a shape shifter in a fantasy game, is being a shape shifter when very few others are.

    _____________

    It's also worth noting that FFXIV had the ability to change your class in the dungeon.  Parties would spend time looking/requiring these multi-class players, and then based on the DPS/HPS/Mitigation/Utility requirements of the next encounter would spend a bunch of time changing out gear/abilities/buffs and having everyone recheck everyone else for some really tedious gameplay...   This actually got to the point where newer players who only had 1 or 2 maxed out classes (but completely competent) would end up getting excluded from group content since they couldn't min-max for each encounter, which is especially bad in FFXIV since group content is most of the game.
    Post edited by anemo on

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  • iixviiiixiixviiiix GSMember UncommonPosts: 1,437
    well , this concept appear in some Chinese fantasy novels . You kill monster to get they souls then use the soul to shapeshifter into the monster will they ability .

    I think it rather interest mechanic and have collection value .
  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAMember UncommonPosts: 1,693
    iixviiiix said:
    well , this concept appear in some Chinese fantasy novels . You kill monster to get they souls then use the soul to shapeshifter into the monster will they ability .

    I think it rather interest mechanic and have collection value .
    I've read several where the adventurer could evolve into a higher class of monster, and the type of monster was influenced by what the player had killed and eaten.  Can you recommend a specific one where the adventurer's main form remains human but they gain more shapeshift options?  I like reading translations of Asian novels and manga/manhua.
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAMember UncommonPosts: 1,693
    anemo said:
    Well there is one Genre of game that "Plays The Same" even though thematically it's completely different,  that being the mech game.

    A dev that wants to make something that plays like a mech game where putting on a new skin grants different ways to play and to further customize your "pilot".   Is going to have to choose between a genre that has a built in fanatical community (and a bit under served) , and one that doesn't...  Probably goes with the one that has the community.

    In my opinion the cool part of being a shape shifter in a fantasy game, is being a shape shifter when very few others are.

    _____________

    It's also worth noting that FFXIV had the ability to change your class in the dungeon.  Parties would spend time looking/requiring these multi-class players, and then based on the DPS/HPS/Mitigation/Utility requirements of the next encounter would spend a bunch of time changing out gear/abilities/buffs and having everyone recheck everyone else for some really tedious gameplay...   This actually got to the point where newer players who only had 1 or 2 maxed out classes (but completely competent) would end up getting excluded from group content since they couldn't min-max for each encounter, which is especially bad in FFXIV since group content is most of the game.
    I can see how it would be similar to a mech game - especially if it was a system where you could mix and match body parts rather than just choosing between whole animals.

    Taking a long time to change out gear does sound boring and like something that should be avoided.  On the other hand, players who have only maxed one or two classes being in less demand in dungeons sounds kind of normal.  Of course no one wants to be unwanted, and I've personally experienced that when I was playing a pet user or any class built for soloing rather than dungeons.  But the player who has trouble getting a dungeon spot with one or two maxed classes can at least solve this problem on their own by raising another class, rather than helplessly waiting to see if the devs adjust class balance in the next round of nerfs and buffs.
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • iixviiiixiixviiiix GSMember UncommonPosts: 1,437
    edited November 15
    iixviiiix said:
    well , this concept appear in some Chinese fantasy novels . You kill monster to get they souls then use the soul to shapeshifter into the monster will they ability .

    I think it rather interest mechanic and have collection value .
    I've read several where the adventurer could evolve into a higher class of monster, and the type of monster was influenced by what the player had killed and eaten.  Can you recommend a specific one where the adventurer's main form remains human but they gain more shapeshift options?  I like reading translations of Asian novels and manga/manhua.
    Tale of demon and god , it have novel (slow update nearly discontinue) and comic book (weekly i think) in English (fan translate) I think it's a novel that most suit to be MMORPG (until the second arc)
    Human and monster fight with other since the very begin until the godly strong monster being born and  wipe out most of human and throw remain human in to dark age where they lost most of they knowledge in the destruction . Then again human venture to the remain of human civilization to regain lost knowledge to survival in world full of monster .
    And it about what you mean to be shapeshifter , human to fight again monster use the monster's soul to transform to monster with the monster's ability .
    Post edited by iixviiiix on
  • ScotScot UKMember RarePosts: 6,510
    edited November 15
    No, no, no. What makes it good about being the shape shifter is that not everyone can do it. You might as well ask if it would be a good idea to have a MMO where everyone is the healer...oh hang on that's more or less a default setting now for easymode. :D

    I have no issues with having to interact with npcs in a human form, that's what its for. But finding secret caves, doing stuff you can't as a human, that sort of thing is what a shifter lives for.
    Post edited by Scot on

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  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,066
    So, in one thread we've got discussion about non-human avatars, in another thread we've got discussion about the benefit of flexible classes allowing people to play more complex and interesting roles,
    [...]
    What if all avatars could shapeshift, and so all players had access to animal forms for special travel modes, stealth, disguise, puzzles, and other NPC/quest situations?
    And like a broken record I need to drop in here CO just like I did in the other two threads... :smiley:
    More precisely the Transformation: and Become: devices there. It is exactly what you just described, and there are dozens of them. (more than 30 I think and they pretty often adding new ones)

    Available to all (as the title, "everyone is a shapeshifter"), replace the character's look, movement, and skills. They even have the progression element you seek, with unlocking more powers on the go. There are only a few beasts though (like the different werewolves), the forms are usually monsters, robots, or just goofy stuff (like the teddy bear or the gingerbread man).
    Here, a short video of the vampire from many years ago :wink: 
    https://youtu.be/WjwmAYh_j8c
    (a weak video, not presenting the best feature of the vampire, its travel power. You turn into a flock of bats and flying around in that form)
  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAMember UncommonPosts: 1,693
    Scot said:
    No, no, no. What makes it good about being the shape shifter is that not everyone can do it.
    That's kind of impossible for any playable class or race in any MMO, though.  Or do you think it would be good enough if players were shapeshifters and NPCs weren't?
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Member RarePosts: 6,298
    Read a story by a guy named Adrian Tchaikovsky called the tiger and the wolf. It's set in a world where everyone shifts and some can shift into more than one animal. Was interesting. Debating on the sequel.
    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad.
  • anemoanemo Member UncommonPosts: 1,223
    edited November 16
    Scot said:
    No, no, no. What makes it good about being the shape shifter is that not everyone can do it.
    That's kind of impossible for any playable class or race in any MMO, though.  Or do you think it would be good enough if players were shapeshifters and NPCs weren't?
    Most NPCs are treated as little more than a prop.   Sometimes it seems like the devs put more effort into placement of bushes and trees than their NPCs.  EDIT: so unless you do something really major, most players just won't care what NPCs can and can't do.

    Also you run the risk of just changing the term of "HERO!!!!!!!!!" into "SHAPESHIFTER!!!!!",  and having the typical silly melodramatically epic memes that so many other games have.
    Post edited by anemo on

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

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  • ScotScot UKMember RarePosts: 6,510
    Scot said:
    No, no, no. What makes it good about being the shape shifter is that not everyone can do it.
    That's kind of impossible for any playable class or race in any MMO, though.  Or do you think it would be good enough if players were shapeshifters and NPCs weren't?

    Your idea takes away from an essential enjoyment of being a shifter, that there are not many of you that can do it. The only thing that would mitigate that, would be if each "class" had a different form to change into and they did different things; sea cave treasure for seals, mountain rock cave treasure for hawks and so on.

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  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAMember UncommonPosts: 1,693
    iixviiiix said:

    Tale of demon and god , it have novel (slow update nearly discontinue) and comic book (weekly i think) in English (fan translate) I think it's a novel that most suit to be MMORPG (until the second arc)

    I'm enjoying this so far. :)  I love this kind of time-travel into your younger body stories.
    Scot said:
    Scot said:
    No, no, no. What makes it good about being the shape shifter is that not everyone can do it.
    That's kind of impossible for any playable class or race in any MMO, though.  Or do you think it would be good enough if players were shapeshifters and NPCs weren't?

    Your idea takes away from an essential enjoyment of being a shifter, that there are not many of you that can do it. The only thing that would mitigate that, would be if each "class" had a different form to change into and they did different things; sea cave treasure for seals, mountain rock cave treasure for hawks and so on.
    Could you explain a little more why being rare is part of the essential enjoyment of being a shifter? It kind of sounds like you're thinking that being a rare anything is inherently enjoyable in roleplaying, and it's not an issue specific to shifters...? Which is a reasonable opinion.
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • ScotScot UKMember RarePosts: 6,510
    iixviiiix said:

    Tale of demon and god , it have novel (slow update nearly discontinue) and comic book (weekly i think) in English (fan translate) I think it's a novel that most suit to be MMORPG (until the second arc)

    I'm enjoying this so far. :)  I love this kind of time-travel into your younger body stories.
    Scot said:
    Scot said:
    No, no, no. What makes it good about being the shape shifter is that not everyone can do it.
    That's kind of impossible for any playable class or race in any MMO, though.  Or do you think it would be good enough if players were shapeshifters and NPCs weren't?

    Your idea takes away from an essential enjoyment of being a shifter, that there are not many of you that can do it. The only thing that would mitigate that, would be if each "class" had a different form to change into and they did different things; sea cave treasure for seals, mountain rock cave treasure for hawks and so on.
    Could you explain a little more why being rare is part of the essential enjoyment of being a shifter? It kind of sounds like you're thinking that being a rare anything is inherently enjoyable in roleplaying, and it's not an issue specific to shifters...? Which is a reasonable opinion.

    That's exactly the point, we have moved away from definition in class to a zerg class mash up. Shifters don't appear in many MMO's, I assume its the extra work involved in putting them in. So where they do its something special. But as I said if you can significantly differentiate between shifters that's one way to keep their uniqueness.

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